B THEOLOGY: BTH0010010011F
BT046: ANALYSIS OF YOGA
1. YOGA’S GLOBAL APPEAL
Indian culture advocates global health via yoga, but does not produce gold medallists at the Olympic games. Yoga is not a fitness programme, it derives from the Sanskrit and means “union”. Indian philosophy renders it as moksha (liberation or salvation) and union with God. Hatha yoga is one of many forms of yoga taught by Indian sages to obtain salvation. Westerners have corrupted it to gain physical fitness. How is it possible that physical exercises are linked to spirituality and salvation. The Basic Human Problem
Is it moral, metaphysical or biological? To Materialists, the problem is biological or genetic and one day perhaps scientists will engineer us to be, good and upright loving people. Jewish prophets proclaimed the problem was moral and mankind are estranged sinners and need salvation back to God (includes Christians and Islam). Yoga views the problem as metaphysical.
Some ancient Hindu traditions view moral weakness and failure as a serious matter, requiring ritual sacrifices for forgiveness of sins, similar to the Jewish atonement sacrifices. Some Hindu scriptural teachings on sacrifice foreshadow the teaching that Jesus was a sin sacrifice. However, Hinduism does not believe the problem is moral. The yoga techniques were originally part of Samkhya philosophy which is dualistic: purusha (soul) and prakritti (physical nature). The purusha is pure but the prakritti is evil, with the soul being entangled with the physical body. Yoga was developed to untangle the two, as the body was viewed as corrupting the soul. Thus yoga cannot propagate fitness in India. The philosophy has changed and now a union is sought with the soul (atma) with God (Brahma). Upanishadic Hinduism views man as God and God as man. (atma or inner self) This is known as non-dualism (adwaitta) or monism and monistic gurus teach man is Infinite Consciousness or God and has forgotten how to act like deity, and will keep on re-incarnating until he reaches the Infinite Impersonal Consciousness level. Thus they believe yoga unites the human soul with the divine soul.
The material universe is viewed as a nightmare illusion (maya) of God, but when the person awakes the world is viewed as an illusion, yoga grants enlightenment and deity so that the illusion can be perceived. Thereby an attitude of non-interest in nature and science was evolved in India. They reject any need for repentance as they are God and incapable of breaking moral laws. To them salvation is finding your inner self and yoga is the path to experiencing a “higher state of expanded consciousness”. Hare Krishna and other sects differ and do not accept man becomes God or ever was God. To them God is Krishna and man’s state is Krishna-consciousness. They believe man has to be joined again to Krishna. Women have to be reborn as a male until she can find salvation (moksha).
2. TECHNIQUES TO ALTER CONSCIOUSNESS
Hatha Yoga: Salvation Through Physical Exercises
Chemicals cause various reactions in our bodies, and by manipulating brain chemistry altered states of consciousness are experienced. The brain’s chemistry can be affected by breathing or reducing oxygen intake. The brain can also be manipulated physiologically. Hatha yoga consists of stretching exercises coupled with breathing exercises that cause the body to be flexible, thereby affecting the nervous system as well. It takes a long time to master and is advertised as non-religious, and many people use it as a fitness program. Gurus hope adherents will experience altered consciousness to open the person to its philosophies. There are some gurus that teach it purely for materialistic gain. Is it correct to call something physical when it is actually spiritual.
Japa Yoga: The “Mechanical Path” To Salvation
Japa refers to the repetition or chanting of a mantra, which is usually the name...
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